Anticipation is a close relative to anxiety and dread in my life, especially at this time of year. Perhaps that's just how it is when you are on the giving end. Kids get to indulge in delicious speculation of what might be under the tree. Adults worry, and this time of year offers plenty of grist for the anxiety mill.
--Will I be able to find what my kids want, especially since I can't shop until my last paycheck before Christmas?
--Will I be able to afford what my kids want?
--Have I done enough to pass my values and the true meaning of Christmas on to kids, so they won't think it is all about the presents?
--Why didn't I make more of an effort to get them involved in charitable acts this year?
--Will I finally be able to find an anniversary and Christmas gift that ABM will truly like and use?
--Will I be able to find money for all the last-minute holiday expenses that seem to pop up, such as the big field trip that the school decided to schedule for two weeks before Christmas?
When you are part of the inner workings of the holiday celebration, there aren't any surprises. My feeling of anticipation has been reduced to one tiny moment right before the first child opens the first present. Then it's all over until next year.